[First posted on The Times of Israel: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/tetzaveh-rabbinic-stone-healing/]
Ibn Ezra Exodus: Tetzaveh
Rabbinic Stone Healing
“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
Western medicine is typically disparaging of any treatments that cannot be confirmed by a peer-reviewed double-blind study with a well defined control group, often heavily financed by pharmaceutical companies. Eastern medicine on the other hand, forays frequently into the realm of superstition, idol-worship and outright chicanery.
Jewish sages throughout the ages tended to adopt the medical practices of their time and place, and sought where possible to exclude useless or problematic “medical” trends.
Ibn Ezra makes mention of the “powers” of stones which to Western ears may sound like nonsense. However, in his comments on Exodus 28:9, he expands about “a stone that if worn on a finger, the person will see his dreams. And this should not be a surprise, as each stone has its unique powers. There is a stone that attracts metal, and one that stills the blood, and one that flees from vinegar and one that always breaks into triangles.”
Perhaps there is some truth after all to healing properties of some stones?
Shabbat Shalom and Purim Sameach,
To the speedy and complete healing of those suffering from all and any illness, especially the flu that seems to be affecting many this season.